360 Difference Estimating

A Cross Platform Mac, Windows, iOS, and Web Based Estimating Program

Estimating-SliderGraphic360 Difference: Estimating is one of the modules in our suite of FileMaker database tools that works as a stand alone program that allow you as a contractors to produce precise accurate estimates for the the task work being performed your particular company’spersonnel with data you’ve built based on your own company’s compensation structure, productivity rates, and material costs.

In much the same manner as it works with your internal cost structure it also allows you track and build and file of production costs from your subcontractors and other external suppliers too.

It’s one of the very few estimating programs out there that is designed to run on either the Macintosh or Windows platforms and if that wasn’t enough it can also be remotely hosted and worked on from any location with an internet connection too.

360 Difference: Estimating is intended to help you:

  • Prepare a precision estimates for projects in the shortest possible time.
  • Eliminate the repetition of searching through price lists and installation rates.
  • Minimize the risk of errors with extending and adding up columns of figures.
  • Offer consistent reliable pricing to your clients.
  • Reducing the time you spend estimating and give you more time to think about of how you are going to win or sell the job.
  • Help you produce and submit more estimates.

In short it’s a rich, robust, scalable, network enabled, and customizable estimating solution.

Estimating Dashboard

The 360 Estimating Dashboard

The 360 Estimating Dashboard is your starting place that displays a list of the estimates you have to work on along with the most recent and urgent To Do List Items you’ve created while estimating and a list of the notes you have attached to any of the records in the various database tables.

On the right hand side of the screen is dual portal that displays buttons that take you to the List View screens of all the tables in the module or displays buttons of the common task you perform while estimating to put you in the right place and get you started without wasting anytime poking around.

Estimating Labor Cost View

The Estimate Worksheet: Labor Cost View

The Estimate Worksheet: Labor Cost View is essentially a pre-programmed spreadsheet where you point and click to enter cost information. You can select cost data to include in your estimate from three different sources. A cost book that contains cost for work done by you or your own personnel or a cost book that contains costs for work done by third party sub contractors or straight material cost from a materials cost database. A pre-selected markup you’ve set up is then automatically applied to the totals for Labor, Materials, and External (subcontracted) costs giving you a contract price for the project. You can also enter data manually into the lines in the estimate if none of the data you have in your cost books fits the component or project your estimating. All all the line items are color coded to help the estimator identify just where the data he or she selected came from. (i.e. pale blue signifies the value came from the Internal Production Costs database, pale yellow signifies the value came from a sub-contractors quote on a RFP, and aqua indicates it’s a straight materials cost from the Material database and the selected colors are user modifiable).

Estimating Tag Allowances View

The Estimate Worksheet: Tag Allowances View

The Estimate Worksheet: Tag Allowances View: With a quick click you can shift views from the Estimate Labor Cost View to a view where you can then tag the items you want to be considered as allowances in your proposal. And you can tag the labor cost, the material cost, or the sub cost or any combination of the three . And if you want to work on just the items you tagged as allowance you can click again to a window where just the tagged items will appear.

Estimating Price View

The Estimate Worksheet: Price View

The Estimate Worksheet: Price View: Another quick click you can shift to the Estimate Price View where each line item is displayed as the marked up Price you will be charging your client for that particular line item.

This is a particular handy view to have when discussing changes with a client that can be made to the project and project estimate and how they will affect the price of the project to them. You don’t have to take your costs and apply your markup or markups to the individual line items it’s already been done for you.

Estimating Contacts & Assets View

Estimate Contacts & Assets

Estimate Contacts & Asset: Keep a Contact List specific to your Estimate and Project right inside your estimate file so they are right there where you need them as you’re working on the estimate and you won’t need to switch to another application.

Additionally you can also keep inside your estimate file all the supporting digital documents you need to produce that estimate such as photos, excel and word documents, plan PDFs, quicktime movies and more.

And There Is More…

Internal Production Costs:

This is the Cost Book where the Cost information on the work performed by your company’s personnel is kept, organized, revised, and updated. From the main opening screen which displays all the estimate categories you can then drill down though user defined Sub-Categories to a Selection List where you can then either move individually or in batches items to your estimate worksheet.

The line items in the Production Cost books are built using links to other files such as Internal Trade Rates, Productivity Benchmarks, and Materials and linked in a way that when for instance you change and update the material price for a 4′ X 8′ sheet of 1/2″ CDX in the Materials file you can then update all the records in the Production Cost Books that are based on that cost relation.

Internal Trade Rates:

This file can be customized by adding different trade profiles for the different pay rate scales and numbers of positions within your company. You can have different labor rate profiles for different levels of carpenters, painters, and helpers in a small to mid-sized company. If you’re a solo operator you can have just one single trade profile to reflect what you want to pay yourself for the labor you perform and use that as the labor rate basis in your Internal Production Costs cost book. In the Internal Trade Rates file you can tweak the labor burden costs to reflect and account for:

  • The anticipated ratio of billable to non-billable hours worked by that position.
  • Paid Holidays, Paid Sick Days, and Paid Vacation
  • Any variation or changes in the standard labor deductions and payments such as FICA, and Unemployment, etc.
  • The differences in Workers Comp Rates between the different trade functions performed. For example: the Worker Comp rate for a “Carpenter-A (finish)” would be different than the Worker Comp rate for a “Painter-A”
  • It can be adjusted for Health Insurance, Retirement and other benefits
  • Other possible Variable Overhead costs such as: Production Supervision
    • Vehicle payments (or vehicle compensation allowance)
    • Vehicle insurance
    • Gas & Oil expenses
    • Vehicle Maintenance
    • Cell Phones
    • Small Tools and Equipment
    • Equipment Maintenance
    • Work Clothing


This file is a database where all the material costs that your company pays for materials it uses are kept, organized, revised, and updated. You can sort and search the list by:

  • Category- such as Moldings, Pine-#2CP, Adhesives etc. and any category you define and decide to organize materials by.
  • Vendor- records the vendor that gave you the price or prices for the material your using, so that in the case of exotic or rarely used materials you can also reference where it was you got them from.
  • Frequency- as in the frequency of how often that particular material appears in a Internal Production Costs cost book item which essentially tells you what materials are you most commonly referencing and looking up prices for.

Markup Sets

Is the file where the markup that you want to apply to your costs for Overhead and Profit is created and stored. Unlike some estimating programs the user has complete control over the calculation of markup and the way the spread is allocated individually towards labor, materials, and external (subcontracted costs).

It also allows you to create and store additional Markup Sets so that if you happen to have a preferred long term client you wish to provide a discount for you can create a unique Markup Set for them in much the same way that you could also create a unique higher Markup for a particularly difficult client.

This also allows you to experiment with bids produced a different Markup rates while still affording you the convenience of being able to “roll back” to your old markup structure if you need to.

Task Categories

Allows you to create the Task Categories of work and their related sub-categories that your company’s personnel executes and performs. You can create (or modify) the names and display order of them as they appear in your Internal Production Costs Cost Book.

This file is also the same file used by our 360 TimeKeeping solution. So using this Estimating solution in conjunction with the Timekeeping solution you can easily compare and evaluate your data when performing job costing.

Productivity Benchmarks

is the file where labor productivity benchmarks for common often duplicated and repeated task procedures are kept and used by the records you develop in your Internal Production Costs cost book.

For example: You might have a Productivity Benchmark figure of .842 labor hours to “Install solid or architectural pre-hung interior door”. And that Benchmark is used by 40 or more records in the Internal Production Costs cost book for hanging all sorts of different doors that fit the basic profile’s description of a “solid or architectural pre-hung interior door” and use that installation Labor Hour figure such as:

  • Pre-Hung Int. Pine 6 Panel Door 2′-6″x6′-8″
  • Pre-Hung Int. Double French Door 15 Lite 2′-0″x6′-8″
  • Pre-Hung Int. Pine Louver/Louver Door 2′-6″x6′-8″
  • Pre-Hung Int. Birch Flush Solid Door 3′-0″x6′-8″
  • Pre-Hung Int. Hardboard Flush HC Door 3′-0″x6′-8″
  • etc.

The material costs for the door would be different in each case, giving you a different total cost for the item in the Cost Book. But since they all share a common installation labor hour figure (the Productivity Benchmark) their installation labor costs would be the same. If for some reason while performing job costing you discover or determine that you company’s productivity rate is higher or lower you can make a change in that common Productivity Benchmark they all share and then update all the records simultaneously in one batch to adjust for that revised productivity rate.


Where your client specific information is kept such as general address information and household members along with a MapIt feature to locate the client and get driving directions you can distribute to your personnel. Also when your clients are professional-to-the-trade types who you give multiple estimates to for multiple projects over the course of a year it displays a clients Estimate History.


Like Clients where your Vendor specific information is kept along with a MapIt feature to locate the Vendor and get driving directions in case you need to give them to an employee. The Vendors file also has a launch URL feature that will open that will open a web page for that particular vendor when that vendor happens to have an established presence on the web and if one is not already programmed into the system it will prompt you to see if you want to “google” for it.

External Contractors:

Keeps the general address and contact information for you subs and external contracting partners and organizes lists of the Requests For Proposals you’ve given to them along with their price quotes to you.

Requests For Proposals:

Helps you write, distribute, and organize RFPs to your subs and contracting partners to get their prices for project work your doing and then allows you to select from them and then have their quote plugged into your estimate.


Store the information you want to keep about your project venues such as access requirements, available working hours, parking etc that you can then distribute to your subs as part of an RFP or even use the MapIt feature to look up a map and driving directions that you can give to an employee.


The preferences file is where you store data such as your company’s name, address and phone information along with your company’s logo for use on any printed out forms you may want to generate.

You can also use the Preferences file to set the options available in each one of the other files in the solution. For example you can set your preferred company Markup Set in either the Markup Set file or in the Preferences.

You can activate a setting here that will allow you to copy the line item Cost Book information to your system clipboard. You can then paste that information into an Excel spread sheet or other document you may wish to use other than our Simple Estimate Worksheet.

Click here to go to The Getting Started Page in our KnowledgeBase to see what it takes to get Logged In to the demo

Single user editions of 360 Difference are available for $365.00. (Please call or email us for information and details on multi-user deployment and pricing.)

There are a couple of different distribution versions of 360 Difference Estimating: You can select the license you want and need below:

360 Difference 13 FMP: Estimating (2016) For Mac & Windows Users with FileMaker 12 or Greater

FileMakerPro11This version of the application will run on any platform, Macintosh or Windows, but requires a copy of FileMaker FileMaker Pro 12 or later to run.


We will send you a download link to a web page with your personalized copy of 360 Difference Estimating as soon as possible after we receive notification from PayPal of your order. Usually within 2-24 hours.

360 Difference 13 RTM: Estimating (v13.0) Runtime Macintosh OSX Version (Runs on a Built-in FileMaker Pro 12 Engine)

OSXmidsizediconThis is a standalone runtime single-user version for Macintosh users that comes with a built-in FileMaker engine and requires an Intel-based Macintosh computer with 1GB of RAM, and Mac OS X v10.5.7 (Leopard) or greater

The runtime application is single user only and cannot be shared over a network and does not include the ability to create Adobe® PDF files from within the application but Mac users can still create Adobe® PDF files from the Apple Print Dialog.


We will send you a download link to a web page with your personalized copy of 360 Difference Estimating as soon as possible after we receive notification from PayPal of your order. Usually within 2-24 hours.

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